Is Self Taping a fad or here to stay?

Six Reasons why your next acting workshop should be ONLINE

If you could do an audition anyway you liked, in any place, at any time, where would you choose?

Let’s face it, a visual artist chooses where to paint and a composer chooses where to compose. They choose creative environments.

But an actor must ‘create’ in the Casting Directors studio.

Until now. (Could you choose to do a selfie and not a CD test?)

But you baulk at self tests because:

You don’t know what they want and you think they’ll tell you.
You are scared of the technology
You don’t know what take to choose
You think if you meet the casting director, it is much better.

What if I could take away all those fears? What if I could empower you to take control of your audition. If I could do that, now answer the question:

Where is the best place to Audition?

And of course the answer is: in your own home. Where you have control of the time the place the everything!

And that is why you MUST start your journey of being excited about self taping

Yes, you heard me correctly …. Excited! That is what the members of the January course have discovered.

If you do an ONLINE workshop:

  1. You deliver a self test every week. You tape at home, when you want, where you want.
  2. On our member only password protected page, you upload your self tape. You see other members who have done the same. You see various actors auditioning for the same part. With the same self tape format.
  3. Effectively, you sit in my seat, the casting director’s seat. Seeing self tapes of actors doing the same dialogue. How is each one different?
  4. By doing this you develop objectivity. You quickly understand that the difference between a good self tape and a VERY good self tape is not the ability of the actor. It is their imagination. Their individuality. what works. And what does not. You see how little moments communicate a character far more effectively than the perfected delivery of lines of dialogue.
  5. You receive personal feedback from me on every one of your tests. Note: this is private, delivered to your inbox. It is not shared with anyone else. So I can be honest and objective about your work. I will make observations about your strengths and your weaknesses.
  6. As we have members from all over the world, you will develop the understanding that self taping is a universal language, spoken only by actors. And it is the most powerful communications tool an actor has ever been granted.

 

Self taping is here to stay.

Self taping will become the only way an actor can ‘introduce’ themselves to a casting director.

Self taping is the surest way to convince your agent, you have the chops to do the best roles, on the biggest productions.

Self taping is a process that YOU control, and not the other way around.

Self Taping School January 2018 starts Monday 15th January. Numbers are strictly limited to ensure everyone gets individual attention. We are more than 50% booked out.

Act now and book your place. Tomorrow we may be booked out.

Where is the best place to audition?

And you will probably say on the right location, with the director, and a sympathetic crew, and your choice of actor opposite you, and the time to do multiple takes.

If that is the best way to do an audition, then it certainly is not going to happen in a casting director’s studio.

By the way, it may seem I am being hard on Casting directors. Not true. I have been a full time casting director for 35 years. I am president of the Casting Guild of Australia.

I love casting directors.

What I do not love is the process of auditions. A process of screen testing where we must subject actors to conformity, every time we are casting a film

If you have the confidence and knowledge to audition with a self tape, then you have empowered your self in the following ways:

You can do as many takes as you like, whereas in the CDs room you can do one. One only.
The qualities of the character are the ones THEY choose.
You do not have to sit in the waiting room of other actors, dressed like you.
You create an audition space that HELPS you create the character, rather than a Casting Director audition room that is a creatively suffocating environment
You choose the reader. The perfect person to help you deliver YOUR creative vision of the character (not the casting directors)

So, if you agree that there are real, tangible benefits from delivering a self tape, if you agree that you have the power to deliver YOUR version of the character more effectively, then now you are saying do I achieve that?

By doing your next acting workshop online. (What is an online workshop?)

Does your agent always send your Self Tape on to the Casting Director?

Many casting directors provide the full details of the upload when requesting self tapes. The details will include file size, the website to upload to, the conventions that they want you to follow for naming the file.

They will also instruct you on what to have, do and say on your tape.

But when your agent sends you the information, they give you everything but then they say ‘Send your file to us’

Why? Because they are checking if it is good enough. They do not want bad self tapes being sent to the casting director. It makes them look bad.

So they will receive them, review them and if not good enough they will say to the casting director, ‘Oh that actor is not available, or unable to do a selfie, or ….. any number of excuses’

So no, they do not always send it on.

Now think of the reverse situation. Which is:

You do cracking, top-shelf, impressive self tapes. If you do that, not only does the agent not check them first, but now the agent is actively trying to get you more self tap opportunities.

They hope they can get you a self tape every day – because you make them look good.

These days, a self tape is not simply an audition for a role. It is the opportunity to deliver a brand. Sure your brand (is he a good actor?) and more importantly, the brand of your agent.

If you are not getting self tape opportunities, is it because your agent does not want their name, on your self test.

Because no matter how good an actor you are, if your self tape is poor, is unwatchable, then we don’t care how good an actor you are. There are too many other actors delivering good self tapes to spend time agonizing over yours.

Self taping. It is here to stay. And you must see it as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle course.

Because when you do, so does your agent. And they will shout your name from the roof tops.

Audition

This is dummy copy. It is not meant to be read. It has been placed here solely to demonstrate the look and feel of finished, typeset text. Only for show. He who searches for meaning here will be sorely disappointed. These words are here to provide the reader with a basic impression of how actual text will appear in its final presentation. Think of them merely as actors on a paper stage, in a performance devoid of content yet rich in form. That being the case, there is really no point in your continuing to read them. After all, you have many other things you should be doing. Who’s paying you to waste this time, anyway?

What Is The Role You Were Born To Play?

I want to pose a question to start you thinking and that is what is the role you were born to play?

To which many of you will go ‘I can play any role’. Yes, you can play any role.

But what is the role you are absolutely right for?

So you hear they’re casting a guy in a pink shirt and you go ‘Pick me, I’ve got a pink shirt!’

The point I’m making is there are certain roles. There a certain roles on TV you are absolutely perfect for.

And it’s not about whether you get the part or not. The main disappointment would be if you didn’t get the opportunity to audition. Did you get asked to self test?

That’s the main thing. Work out the roles you were born to play and make sure your agent knows you are perfect for those roles. Then your agent will go into bat for you.

The roles you were born to play. That’s the first answer you need in terms of your success as an actor. Talk to you soon.

Why Should You Be Practicing Your Self Test Technique?

Four or five years ago, casting directors would ask specific actors to audition. If they weren’t available to audition they would say ‘I can do a self test for you’. So the casting director would get them to self test.

What’s happening these days? These days we start by asking for self tests. We know the self test means we can see more actors. The self test means we spend less time in the studio and more time interfacing with our computer looking at self tests and engaging with agents.

The self test is your goal during Pilot Season. Not to get an audition in the room, to get a self test. A self test is your first step to making the shortlist.

Talk to you soon.

How Memorable Are You?

I had an actress in for a go-see recently, gorgeous, blonde, 20s, caucasian. She was having issues because the last role she played was ‘Party Girl 3’ and prior to that ‘Danny’s Girlfriend’. She was playing all these nondescript roles.

The point I’m trying to make is – how memorable are you? Memorable you say? Well I’m a really good actor!

Yeah so are a lot of people. A lot of people are really good actors. What is your point of individuality?

That’s what you have to deliver in your self tests. Your self tests when they are a specific test for a specific role. Or just your self tests when you’re trying to attract the attention of a casting director or an agent.

What is your individuality? What makes you memorable? That is what you have to deliver.

Not your ability, your individuality. Be memorable.

Delivering Your Version Of The Character

I’ve spoken here before about pilot season or in fact any audition session that with self testing they can now see a LOT more people.

So what is going to be the difference between your audition ad somebody else’s audition?

Because at the moment what you’re trying to do is get those sides exactly right. Exactly what they’re looking for.

Do you think that makes you stand out?

They’re seeing a lot of actors. They’re seeing a lot of good actors. Have you delivered something that’s memorable? Or something that’s faithful?

If you deliver a faithful rendition of the sides, you’re like everybody else. I get lots of actors who can deliver a faithful rendition of the sides.

But who’s delivered that point of instinctive, intuitive, spontaneity? Who’s delivered that spark? That moment that makes us go ‘Oh! Isn’t he interesting?’.

If you want a good example of what I’m talking about, watch Ben Mendelsohn in Bloodline.

Be an individual. It works.

How much can you improve …….. with HONEST feedback?

At Self taping School, you self test every week for six weeks. Within 48 hours you will receive personal, targeted feedback from me. It will be specific to the tape you submit. Your self test.

I will point out what worked. Do not miss another opportunityAnd what didn’t.

I will encourage you to work on key areas for your next self tape. Each week, you build confidence and understanding about …

WHAT CASTING DIRECTORS ARE LOOKING FOR IN SELFIES

I have received many questions about the feedback. So here is a sample. Firstly, click on this ‘screen test’ link so you have seen the test.

NOTE:  The actress is the daughter (or wife) of the director so she was always going to get the part. It is a test for a very bad film. Despite being very inexperienced (I am being kind here), there are simple things she could have done to improve the impact of her tape.

Because at Self Taping School,

we believe a self tape is a piece of communication,

and not just an audition.

CLICK to join the January 2017 Self Taping Boot Camp

Note: There are limited places left. Do not delay 

SAMPLE of GREG APPS Feedback: